BACKGROUND: We investigated associations of childhood abuse with 4 cardiovascular disease risk factors in adulthood, and whether exposure to nurturing and household organization in childhood mitigated these associations. METHODS AND RESULTS: The CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study (baseline examination, 1985– 1986) was used to examine associations of childhood exposures (measured retrospectively at the year 15 examination) with incident obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia (assessed from baseline to year 30). Race-and sex-stratified Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine associations of exposure to childhood abuse with incident cardiovascular disease risk factors. Interaction terms between exposure to abuse and exposure to nurturing relationship and household organization were included to test for effect modifications. Exposure to occasional/frequent abuse (versus no abuse) was associated with incident type 2 diabetes among White men (hazard ratio [HR], 1.81; 95% CI, 1.06–3.08). Exposure to low versus no abuse was associated with incident hyperlipidemia among White men (HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.09–1.67) and White women (HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.01–1.56). Risks of incident hyperlipidemia were higher for White women who experienced abuse and lived in dysfunctional households (HR, 3.61; 95% CI, 1.62–8.05) or households with low levels of organization (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.25–3.36) compared with White women who experienced abuse but lived in well-organized households (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.41–1.06). Similar patterns were seen for Black men who lived in dysfunctional households (HR, 3.62; 95% CI, 1.29–10.12) or households with low organization (HR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.08–3.72). CONCLUSIONS: We identified race-and sex-specific associations of childhood exposures with incident cardiovascular disease risk factors. The associations of household organization and dysfunction with cardiovascular disease risks merits further investigation.
- childhood exposures
- obesity type 2 diabetes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine